Successful experiential activations connect with and engage consumers at multiple touchpoints and incorporate other brands and events. Information regarding the experiential activations of Lagunitas, Guinness, Smirnoff, Estrella Damm, Mike's, Strongbow, White Claw, Truly, BrewDog, and Athletic Brewing Company is provided below.
- Strongbow Dark Fruit is stated to have recruited new consumers by sticking to the brand's "masculine roots" as opposed to making it feminine. Heineken is credited with allowing Strongbow to test its strategy in 2014 when it launched in 10 pubs resulting in 270 million pints being poured when reported in April 2019. In spite of its targeting of women, Strongbow is estimated to have about 45% of its clientele to be women.
- In 2019, BrewDog created launched a non-alcoholic version of Punk IPA and is called Punk AF.
- The best brand activations in 2019 were those that brought people together, and experiential marketing serves as a bridge by engaging consumers in forums where they come together and share common interests.
Out In The Field
- Lagunitas creates experiential activations with athletic events, and the founder has found that pairing the non-alcoholic beer with athletic events has been a "match made in heaven" and allowed the company to measure consumer engagement. The brand uses Main Event to track and manage the activations at events across the United States and have included collaborations with Spartan, Delmo Sports Elite Events, and AVP.
- The founder, Bill Shufelt, states of the activation, "We’ve really found that meeting consumers where they are, at the finish lines of races where they’re having a great time, we give out thousands of beers, tell them about our product, give them merchandise and beer...it’s a blast.”
- Guinness launched the Guinness Stoutie in partnership with Ripples on International Stout Day in Dublin, Ireland at the Guinness Stouthouse. The brand activation featured the Ripple Maker, a specialized printer that prints images and text on top of beverages called bev-top media and capitalizes on a moment of "total, concentrated attention from consumers".
- The experiential launch featured a photographer who snapped pictures of the events' attendees and the pictures were uploaded to the Ripple Maker via the Ripple app and printed on top of the "silky foam head on a pint of Guinness Stout". Attendees took pictures of the beer and uploaded them to their social media platforms with the hashtag #stoutie.
- Here is an example of the Guinness Stoutie and Ripple Maker.
- This experiential campaign featured Guinness-branded flight attendants who surprised bar patrons in bars across the UK with a chance to win prizes. Participants had to order a pint of Guinness and then shake a "prize-generating mobile tablet" that generated prizes such as passport cases and key chains, and one winner each night received a free trip for five to Dublin on a private jet.
- The marketing manager for Guinness Western Europe states the campaign associated the brand with being aspirational with its use of the trip by a private jet, and it furthered the brands' position as "one that doesn't settle for the ordinary". The campaign created an experience that reflects changing consumer preferences as evidenced by the fact that 78% of millennials would rather pay for a memorable experience or event than material items.
- A YouTube video of the "Fly Guinness Class to Dublin" ad can be accessed here.
House of Pride Pop-Up and Pride Campaign
- Smirnoff used a mixture of LGBTQIA+ influencers, experiential marketing, and content marketing to create an extensive multichannel Pride campaign that debuted in the 2019 NYC Pride.
- Laverne Cox starred in a digital video series that ran on Smirnoff's social media channels and in displays at LaGuardia, JFK International, and Newark International airports to be seen by local and visiting Pride celebrators. Jonathan Van Ness hosted a House of Pride pop-up experience that served globally-themed cocktails, had 6 "Insta-worthy rooms" that were dedicated to highlighting aspects of "LGBTQIA+ history and the community's future".
- Smirnoff also ran a float along with 300 marchers. In addition, the brand released two limited-edition bottles with inclusivity messaging.
Smirnoff House and Live Nation Experiential
- The Smirnoff House is an experiential activation that features a large open space surrounded by two large bars and a DJ booth. Live Nation Experiential gives some impacts of these activations to be: exponentially increased footfall and social engagement, 20,000 sales of Soda Lime & Fruit Smash, up to a 192% increase in sales via Smirnoff House Bars since 2017, overall customer satisfaction of 8.2 out of 10, and increased brand love and purchase intent.
- Wireless Smirnoff worked with Rinse FM to curate an all-female line-up in support of the Smirnoff Eqalising Music Campaign.
- The 2017 experiential activation by Live Nation and Smirnoff featured a double-decker bus with the top deck featuring DJs who live-stream the event and a lower deck that serves as a greenroom area for the Smirnoff team and artists. The bus features Smirnoff-branded bars on either side of the bus.
Estrella Damm Beer-Battered Seafood
- For just one month in July 2019, Estrella Damm and "culinary legend" Morgan McGlone created the Estrella Damm Beer-Battered Seafood to be served at the Auckland Fish Market as a pop-up food experience. McGlone states he uses Estrella Damm beer because of the light, crisp profile complements the seafood.
- In 2018, Estrella Damm released a short-film starring Peter Dinklage entitled La Vida Nuestra as part of its UK campaign. On May 2, 2018, Estrella Damm revealed the film by hosting an experiential pop-up event in East London that featured special guests. The film is the third in a series that is produced by Estrella Damm to "bring to life the core ethos of enjoying life to the full", a message that is found in all the brand's communications, and gives British fans a "taste of the enviable Mediterranean lifestyle".
- The short-film can be viewed here.
Mikes Hard and Harder
The Brighter Side
- Mike's Hard Lemonade has been running its "Drink on Bright Side" for three years.
- In 2019, The Brighter Side campaign included a Washington Post Homepage Ad Takeover and Joy Experiment Pop-up. Mike's and WP BrandStudio collaborated on a "first-to-market research experiment" that used facial and emotional recognition software and AI at a pop-up hosted in New York City.
- The activation included a "happy feed consumer activation" campaign to deliver happiness across the country by installing bright yellow newsstands nationwide.
Harder Barrel Lemonade Tattoos
- Mike's Hard Lemonade launched its Harder Barrel Lemonade by collaborating with acclaimed tattoo artist Lalo Yunda to create "one-of-a-kind tattoo designs" that appeared on seasonal flavor limited-edition collectible ans. The launch featured two pop-up tattoo shops in Los Angeles and New York City where people could get an on-the-spot Harder-inspired tattoos of a skull, snake, or a dragon horse.
- Strongbow held the "largest-ever nationwide festival activation" in the UK that was expected to have nearly 100,000 visits to its activations at festivals across the country. The 3 festivals included pyrotechnic displays, DJs, a ten-metre high figure of the brand's emblem, and debuted the ‘Refreshing People Live’ stage. The experiences are intended to further the position of Strongbow as a 'go-to' activation among festivals and to drive deep audience engagement with the brand.
- Strongbow's marketing manager at Heineken, Bas Bakker, states that the Strongbow brand stands for bringing people together and they have a history of doing that at Festivals. The head of experiential at Initials, the partner for the campaign, describes experiential campaigns as having an "unparalleled potential to drive interest and involvement, strengthen or re-shape brand perceptions, and create trust", and the Festival campaigns create spontaneous memories that align with Strongbow's ethos to engage authentically with the audiences.
- White Claw celebrated an experiential activation at the 2019 Kentucky Derby. The brand created custom White Claw-branded scarves and pocket squares for the on-site fans, a Snapchat filter for attendees to share their experiences and interact with the brand on social media. In addition, there was an official White Claw area on the infield at turn three with products available for purchase.
- Attendees at the Kentucky Derby can purchase 16-ounce cans of White Claw® Black Cherry for $12.
White Claw Hard Seltzer Living Wall
- BeCore and 800 PLANTIT produced a living wall for a White Claw activation that debuted in New York's Citi field and traveled to 15 cities and made stops at venues such as "Boston’s Fenway Park, AT&T Stadium (home of the Dallas Cowboys) and Green Bay’s Lambeau Field".
White Claw and SXSW
- White Claw was set to pair SXSW, "the world’s premier event celebrating the intersection of music, film and emerging technologies". The activation was going to feature immersive events to make fans question the status quo, sample new and unique flavors. However, SXSW has been canceled this year.
Partnership with JetBlue
- Truly entered a partnership with JetBlue to be the first official alcoholic seltzer in a US airline and will start by offering Wild Berry flavor drinks during 2020.
Partnership with the NHL
- Truly Hard Seltzer is now in a partnership with the National Hockey League to be the official hard seltzer of the NHL. The partnership is stated to make sense as many NHL fans are already fans of the Truly brand.
- Truly will be part of the "unforgettable fan experiences" as they are the title sponsor of the "Truly Hard Seltzer NHL® PreGame fan festival at the 2020 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® at Cotton Bowl® Stadium and the 2020 NHL Stadium Series™ at U.S. Air Force Academy’s Falcon Stadium". The NHL Chief Business Officer and Executive Vice President, Keith Wachtel, states they were excited to develop "fun and unique activations" across the Boston Beer Company portfolio.
BrewDog Punk State Experience
- BrewDog will build on its 2018 successful activations that brought the craft beer revolution to the streets of Europe and in 2019 will expand to 16 cities across the continent. The 2018 activations reached nearly a million people on social media and gave away 23,000 cans of Punk IPA, the brand's flagship brand. The activations feature a "purpose-built Punk State truck" that sets up in the dead of night and surprises the unsuspecting public the next day with seating for customers and an "undercover bar". The 2019 activation ran from May 31st to September 20th.
- Visitors to Punk State received a BrewDog passport and once stamped granted the individual a free Punk IPA. In the UK, the passports contained a coupon for an additional free pint in nearby partner pubs and clubs, a money off token for Tesco, the location of the official Punk State after party, and lots of information about the brand.
BrewDog and British Airlines
- BrewDog partnered with British Airlines to create the beer Speedbird 100. This activation was in celebration of the airlines 100th anniversary and was aimed at reaching passengers in-flight and on the ground. The beer was created so that the taste would be preserved during flight conditions, and it is also available at New York's JFK club lounge which has a BrewDog craft beer room.
- BrewDog TV was created so passengers could "experience the craft beer brand via British Airways' in-flight entertainment service".
- The international markets manager at BrewDog notes, "British Airways offer a brand visibility of the highest calibre and it’s an honour and delight for us to partner with them for their centenary to offer their passengers something truly unique and memorable."
Athletic Brewing and MainEvent
- Athletic Brewing pairs its experiential activations with sporting events where it meets consumers at the finish line where they are celebrating and having a great time. They give out thousands of beers and merchandise, and inform the participants about the products. The founder, Bill Shufelt, states the combination of athletic events and the non-alcoholic beer activations have been a "match made in heaven" and effectively measures the customer engagement using MainEvent.
- MainEvent tracks and manages the activations at sporting events across the country and has had collaborations with Spartan, Delmo Sports Elite Events, and AVP.
- Athletic Brewing plans to continue its aggressive in-field marketing and will continue to have experiential activations via sponsored athletic events, in grocery stores, and by doing taproom events.
AVP Pro Beach Volleyball Tour
- Athletic Brewing Company has partnered with AVP to sponsor five tournaments nationwide. The activations will feature branded tents and the craft non-alcoholic beers that are a perfect match for players and fans on the hot beach. The activations will offer Upside Dawn and Run Wild, its non-alcoholic golden ale and IPA respectively, both are the brands' flagship offerings that are "handcrafted by award-winning head brewer John Walker in Athletic Brewing Company’s new state-of-the-art brewery".